Sep 14, 2012

Out of Charge [258/365]

Only team picture worth remembering... Source: cityhyd.info
So the buffet is over. The guests have had their fill, burped in approval and the confetti has been packed up to be reused next year.
Time to pay the dancers and the stage actors. Out comes the empty wallets.

Five years after it first started, the honeymoon is truly over.
Lalit Modi has exiled himself in 'our motherland' (England) and no one remembers Shashi Tharoor anymore.
As team franchisees wake up from their drunken stupors one after the other, they realize that they have just been bamboozled by a diminutive man in impeccable suit.

But then how can we blame businessmen who only wanted to entertain us? We were told not the judge them on the basis of the obscene amounts of money they were supposed to make. They were after-all business(wo)men and not philanthropists.

IPL was packaged and sold as recession-proof business assets that could give its owners rich returns in a third world economy. Everyone drooled.
5 years down, the Kochi Taskers are extinct, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals are neighter kings not royals, Delhi Daredevils are frightened of their own shadow, the owners of Bangalore's RoyalChallengers in deep shit and Sahara's Pune Warriors is looking at a divorce. Chances are none of these teams will ever find a suitor considering how nonviable the venture is.

The greatest sleight of hand, the Indian Premier League, was never a self-sustaining business model. The revenues of the team depended on the fortunes of the owners. While no one can deny that all the owners had seemingly bottomless wallets and the glamor to boot, no one really saw the recession coming when they signed up for multi-billion dollar 10 year contracts.

Today, as BCCI has terminated Deccan Chargers for violations of various codes, DCHL has dragged the BCCI to court in a start of what could be a marathon trial. DCHL had previously announced the sale of its team through newspapers, to be sold in an auction. They then rejected the only bid (for a whooping Rs 900 crores) they received from PVP Ventures because they could not accept the terms of the offer.

With six teams down, the IPL is an excellent example of what happens when sound business logic becomes a casualty.
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